OK, NO WMD's: So WHY DID Bush Go To War?

Now, we have learned (the hard way) that Saddam’s Iraq had no biological or chemical weapons production capabilities. Their atomic bomb program was shut down. The “mobile biological warfare vans” we ice cream trucks. The “aluminum centrifuge tubes” were for missile production, and the story about buying uranium ore in Africa was a fake. So we are left with the question: Why did Bush choose his war? Some possibilities:
-He was tricked by his advisors: this assumes that intelligent people like Codoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Gen. Tommy Franks were also bamboozled as well
-He was fooledby planted evidence: did the Iranians, Israelis, etc. present doctored intelligence that fooled the president?
-He did so because of huis personal hatred for Hussein: this seems a shakey thesis; if this were the only thing , then how did he get Tony Blair to go along with it?
-he genuinely belived that Iraq would eventually unite with Al-Queda to launch a massive attack upon the USA
My question: given the quagmire that Iraq is turning in to, would Bush have risked his second term (and his place in history) by launching this war, if he knew then what would happen?
Of course, there is a remote chance that Iraq will quiet down, and elect a democratic government (I’d say that is less than 30%). What will he (Bush) do if come January, Alawi is voted out, in favor of a fundamentalist islamic government? :eek:

Maybe Bush learned the hard way. Some of us already knew because we were paying attention to the intelligence. :wink:

  • He was pushed into it by people keen to overthrow Hussein with only the slightest excuse, for strategic and economic reasons.

Again I trot out this 1998 letter to Clinton. Note signatories:

Hardly tricked.

The way I see it GW is part of the group. The group that strives for American Imperialism is the same that has been in power ever since their first puppet, Reagan. They actually managed to make one of their own president and now their power is continued in his son.
Thank the Gods for that happy Clinton interlude. A period during which they certainly weren’t actually realy powerless.

Let’s hope that, with the coming 8 year Kerry rule, this group will have died off of natural causes (or others).

Quote: (source NEWSMAX.COM)

Bush to the UN

Address by Bush 10/7/02 (SOURCE: WHITEHOUSE.GOV)

Everyone remember this gem from Ari Fleischer? (SOURCE: WHITEHOUSE.GOV)

Bush, addressing the US, March 17th, 2003 (SOURCE: WHITEHOUSE.GOV)


Teacher: On 11th September 2001 Al Qaeda, a terrorist organisation headed by Osama Binladen, attacked America by hijacking and crashing 4 planes. The US, under president George W Bush (son of George H Bush), attacked Afghanistan where Al Qaeda were known to operate. The US then attacked Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Student: So Al Qaeda were also in Iraq? Or Iraq was funding or sheltering them?

Teacher: No. No significant links with Al Qaeda were ever demonstrated.

Student: So… Iraq was somehow a threat to the US in another way, and was about to attack the US independent of Al Qaeda?

Teacher: The US presented such an argument, that Iraq possessed chemical, biological and possibly even nuclear weapons, collectively known as weapons of mass destruction or WMD, that were a threat to the US either directly or if Saddam ever supplied them to Al Qaeda. However, no WMD were ever found in Iraq. They were likely destroyed a decade before, and UN sanctions made his likelihood of developing them ever smaller.

Student: So, it was humanitarian invasion? The US changed a brutal regime, even though it had nothing to do with 11/9/04, in some “good can come from bad” lesson?

Teacher: Perhaps, but no such argument was ever seriously presented before the invasion. Indeed, the administration seemed keen to shy away from such justification since it set a rather dangerous (and “liberal”, to use a term commnly in use at the time) precedent.

Student: So, why invade Iraq when Al Qaeda was still in Afghanistan?

Teacher: Afghanistan did not provide the “knockout blow” the president had hoped for. Binladen was not captured, nor evidence of his death apparent, and many high-ranking AQ personnel went missing also. He had to present a “big victory” to the US electorate in order to show that he had “done something” after 2001. Also, Iraq had large oil resources and was in a strategically important location (indeed, there were even plans to invade Iraq before 2001). Ultimately, the US invaded Iraq in order to win George W Bush the 2004 election.

Student: Did he?


Despite Mr. Bush’s repeated claims during the debates that he ‘knows how these people think’, he appears to have had very little exposure to other societies and cultures during his lifetime, and manifestly does not appear to have any sophisticated ability to get inside the head of anyone who is not a white, well-off American. I believe he was sold a bill of goods by his advisers and lacked the capacity to weigh effectively what ultimate costs of the iraq invasion might be.

I think he accepted, as explained to him by various people in his administration who had really long and impressive resumes, that the war would a) take only a few weeks and be accomplished at relatively low cost; b) would install a pro-US government in a highly strategic location, c) even if not wholly successful, the occupation would tend to redirect planning of further terrorist attacks toward relatively hardened US military targets outside the US, rather than soft civilian targets inside the US. I suspect this last item, which is rarely discussed, will assume greater importance as retroactive justification for the war as time goes on. Just my opinion; I’m perfectly willing to hear rebuttals.

What I don’t think is that there was any sincere belief within the administration that the WMD excuse was anything other than hype put forward as the most likely way to gain public and political backing for the invasion.

The first business of a politician is to get re-elected. Had Bush known what a huge potential political liability Iraq’s occupation would become, I seriously doubt he would have invaded.

He did need something dramatic to toss out to the electorate to be re-elected, because in my opinion he’s done a crap job otherwise, but I think he got sold a bill of goods re: Iraq by **some ** of his advisors and as a result of his lack of ability to rationally and unemotionally think about what his advisors were telling him, and his obvious hard-on for taking out Saddam, he was not capable of ignoring the Hawks like Feith, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc all and and focusing on the real issue (OBL).

If he had, instead, focused all his will on Afghanistan and catching OBL, then we would be in a very different place right now, and guys like Kerry would have a damn hard time touching his record on the war. Bush has IMO shot himself in both feet by commiting American to the Iraq war, especially given his other failings as a leader both internally and internationally.

I doubt that we would allow a fundamentalist government to take over there. What exactly we could do to stop it is yet to be determined, but I am pretty confident we would not allow another Islamic Fundamentalist nation to exist in the Middle East if it was within our power to stop it.

I’m shocked. Do you mean that these ‘democratic elections in Iraq’ that Bush has been boasting about will only be considered ‘democratic’ if the people make the choice that he wants them to make? That is bringing ‘democracy and freedom’ to Iraq???

I’m really hoping you are being sarcastic with this one…

There are soundbites and there is reality. We would not allow Iraq to become a fundamentalist country. Paul Bremer, before he so judiciously left the Iraqis to their own fate, said as much several times.

I am cynical enough to believe that the CIA has a whole host of dirty tricks ready to prevent a fundamentalist regime from taking power in Iraq.

Now, whether it will work is a whole 'nother question, for a whole 'nother thread.

How about “the scumbag killed 200,000 people” ? (sorry no cite). They just found
another mass grave of Kurds.

Or don’t they matter :rolleyes:

Nope. The US helped Saddam kill the Kurds, so they can’t be counted against him.

We went to war with Iraq to defend the sanctity of the UN sanctions program:

President Bush Discusses Iraq Report

Here’s your site that I’m sure you were looking for:

Hundreds of Kurds found buried in Iraq mass graves

Of course there’s also the fact that these things happened about 16 years ago:

That fact doesn’t make it right, it just demonstrates that the urgency declared by the administration isn’t really applicable. But what’s more applicable is the fact that the administration over and over sited the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION as the need to go into Iraq. (and of course, what Squink said too!)

Would you mind terribly if your son died in a war where this was used as the primary justification?

In other words, are we as Americans obligated to overthrow by force all regimes that we have put into power or supported, who have committed heinous human rights abuses while we stood by and watched?

Keep in mind that the price of these efforts would include billions of dollars in war materiel and reconstruction efforts, loss of diplomatic stature, and hundreds or thousands of dead American soldiers.

Also keeping in mind that if you answer “Yes” in the case of Iraq, where does it stop? Indonesia? Nigeria? And what is the dividing line between human rights abuses that are too ghastly to ignore, versus those that are forgiven/swept under the rug?

Just asking, basically, why American soldiers are all of a sudden the ones who have to catch every baby bird falling out of every nest in every tree in the world. 9-11 changed things, but not that much, I don’t think.

Hmmm…mebbe he was lying during the debates? 'cuase here’s what he said before that:

The White House

Then again, odds are he hardly ever knows what the hell he is talking about.

Depends on which motive is stronger, Bush’s desire for power/fame or his desire for wealth/oil.

Easiest solution would be to declare the election results void (probably due to voter fraud, a topic the GOP is well-versed in) and keep Alawi in power.

I agree with jjimm. As has been mentioned, the Bush team has a number of individuals with extensive experience in the energy sector. These people are frantically concerned about the medium-term future (5 to 20 years) of the global energy market (oil, in particular). In their view, establishing a strong military presence in the Persian Gulf is imperative to the ability of the United States to remain the world’s super-power over the next 50 years. That is why we are in Iraq.
(And, they may be right.)
Totally IMHO.

To expand on my above post (still IMHO), and contra to rjung, I don’t believe that these people are driven by hopes of personal gain of wealth or power. They sincerely believe that, from a medium term stragegic perspective, placing an American military force in the Persian Gulf region is imperative to the future well being of the country. (And, as I mentioned, they may be right.)

Tom Lehrer said it 40 years ago

All their rights respected
until someone we like can get elected.

One hopes their shipping Katherine Harris over there to “supervise” the election.

Umm - they’re.

As for Bush getting snookered by his advisors - if that was the case, you’d think he’d maybe fire one of them. But nope, they’re all doing wonderful jobs, torture and all. I think it is clear that the reason he invaded was that he wanted to. It is very possible he did not know there were no WMDs - any person with a reasonable level of curiousity and who asked tough questions could have figured it out before the invasion, but we’re talking Dubya here.